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penguins29

Considering buying a Prius as my first car

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Hey everyone

I have been looking for my first car and a Prius seems to tick just about every box I have:

 

  • Good size to carry shopping, people
  • Great MPG
  • Known to last for 200k+ miles
  • Not extortionate to repair
  • Reliability is great

 

However finding a local(ish) one for sale seems pretty difficult - i've yet to try driving one. I am from Newcastle and just about every Prius within the budget is 100+ miles away! Maybe it's partly because people don't want to give 'em up.

I am trying to get an idea of what a decent price is so that when one pops up I can jump on it. From some searching it seems that a 2009 would be ideal for me as it's low price and before any Oil consumption issues that seem to be common in 2010/2011 ones.

Interesting website for that info: https://www.carcomplaints.com/Toyota/Prius/

 

My budget is around £5k although I see 2009 ones can go for £3k (200 miles away!). I wouldn't have minded spending my budget on a 2010/2011 if those Oil consumption issues weren't a thing.. I'll also have a catloc or similar installed if I end up purchasing a Prius!

 

My needs pretty much only parking sensors and reverse camera from what I can think of..

I will only be using the car for small drives - I work from home and live in a town centre so there's not a lot of driving!

It would have been nice to have adaptive cruise control and automatic parking (parking aid?) but those are for newer and more expensive models for the most part.

 

I suppose I have a few questions if anyone can help answer them:

  1. Is buying a 2009 for £3-4k a better idea than a newer one maxing out my budget?
  2. Is there anything in particular I should look out for with a Prius?
  3. Any preferred place to look for one to buy or just the usual autotrader/ebay/gumtree
  4. Should I try and get a certain trim level?

 

Thanks for reading!

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I would get a rough idea of insurance costs first as it's a group 14-16 car

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2009 model will either be the last of the Gen2 or an early Gen3. Gen2 still has a good reputation but I think it is a 1500cc engine, Gen3 are 1800 engines (and still are). I had a 59 plate Gen3, got it with 105 k miles and sold it with 110k miles, simply to get a Gen4 as I loved the Prius, now have 66 plate Gen4.  The Hyndrid mechanics are rock solid, obviously well engineered from day 1, Priuswere introduced to UK in 1999, so been about a bit. My friend bought a 60 plate from a Toyota dealer. It burnt Oil terribly, got it sorted under sale warranty, but not heard a lot of this problem. Other then that, not know of major problems.             
Did you know that the Auris has the same hybrid engineering the same as Gen3 Prius, exactly the same, but it’s shape will give less mpg. Auris generally is cheaper then an equivalent year Prius, so well worth you looking at an Auris, younger car for your money.  Our first hybrid was a 60 plate Auris, I bought it, then gave to wife when I got the Gen3 Prius.

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4 hours ago, flash22 said:

I would get a rough idea of insurance costs first as it's a group 14-16 car

My insurance is looking to be around £1,400 for the first year. 29 years old currently - I'm not sure if it'll go down next month when i'm 30.

If I bought a cheaper slower car it might go down to £800 but to be honest, i'd rather pay a little more for a Prius if I end up enjoying driving it and little to no road tax is always a benefit!

 

3 hours ago, Catlover said:

2009 model will either be the last of the Gen2 or an early Gen3. Gen2 still has a good reputation but I think it is a 1500cc engine, Gen3 are 1800 engines (and still are). I had a 59 plate Gen3, got it with 105 k miles and sold it with 110k miles, simply to get a Gen4 as I loved the Prius, now have 66 plate Gen4.  The Hyndrid mechanics are rock solid, obviously well engineered from day 1, Priuswere introduced to UK in 1999, so been about a bit. My friend bought a 60 plate from a Toyota dealer. It burnt oil terribly, got it sorted under sale warranty, but not heard a lot of this problem. Other then that, not know of major problems.             
Did you know that the Auris has the same hybrid engineering the same as Gen3 Prius, exactly the same, but it’s shape will give less mpg. Auris generally is cheaper then an equivalent year Prius, so well worth you looking at an Auris, younger car for your money.  Our first hybrid was a 60 plate Auris, I bought it, then gave to wife when I got the Gen3 Prius.

I will have to keep an eye out to make sure it's Gen2 and not Gen3 for a 2009 one to avoid the Oil issue.

I didn't know about the Auris, that is pretty great although looks to be slightly smaller overall than a Prius, i'll have to go and take a look at them both in person but thanks for that tip!

 

@Catlover does your 66 plate gen4 still have an easily accessible catalytic converter? If so have you done anything to try and prevent theft?

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Penguin, have you researched how many early Gen3 Prius cars suffer from the Oil burning? Is it as widespread as you may be thinking.? I ask because I bought my first Prius, 59 plate with 105k on the clock, owned for the previous 2 years by. Taxi driver who had done 50k miles in that time. No Oil burning problems at all.             
Due to my experience my friend bought a 60 plate Gen3  with about 60k miles if I remember correctly. No blue smoke, no Oil drips, but was using Oil. That was the first time I had heard of the Oil problem, and I had done a research before I bought mine, and my friend did his own research before he bought his. I had been on this forum for a few years before I bought my Gen3 and didn’t read of any problem. Maybe the problem is NOT a extent as you perceiving. It certainly would not put me off buying another Gen3 if I was in the market.        
As for the Auris, size wise it is smaller then a Prius Gen3. Slightly less boot space, slightly less rear passenger leg space, but still a good sized car, though the dash in the Auris is not as futuristic as the Prius.  You see plenty of the mk1 Auris on the road, think they were something like 2006-2012, petrol/diesel/hybrid (from 2009), so you should easy find an Auris car to get a judgement of size, then find an Auris hybrid to buy.  I bought an Auris Hybrid, 2010 model in summer 2015, now the wife’s car and done almost 75k miles with no Oil burning issues at all.   As said previously, Auris shares the same Hybrid engineering as the Prius including the engine.   Whilst Auris was made in Petrol/diesel/hybrid, Prius has only been made as a Hybrid, be it Gen1,Gen2, Gen3 or Gen4. Finding a good Gen2 Prius will be a lot more difficult to find then a good Gen3 I reckon.

My Gen4 Prius has the Cat in its original place, and no, I have not taken any security steps.  ALL modern cars have a Cat of some sort, by law, they contain some precious metals like Palladium, which are expensive and in short supply. As Hybrids petrol engine is not running all the time there is less clogging up in the exhaust so they stay cleaner, making them more attractive to the thieves. Legislation is in place to ensure scrap metal is recorded, but lack of policing prevents checks being carried out properly, hence the thieves are getting away with it. Simply saying “stick the cat under the bonnet” maybe a lot more difficult to do then to say.

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When a Prius comes up for sale it is "snatched up".  The Prius is very reliable. To buy one second hand it must have its full service history including dealer hybrid Battery checks. I have owned Prius Mks 2 3 & 4. I would recommend the Gen 3 top of the range if it is within your budget. My son has had a 10 year old Gen 3 from new. It has done 86,000miles. No issues but it had new suspension bushes last year. The Prius is not good in snow or ice unless you use Winter tyres. My son has a set of tyres for summer and a set for winter. I just have the normal tyres on my gen 4 but I can choose not to use it on snow and ice as I am retired. Good luck with your search.

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On 1/22/2020 at 10:16 PM, penguins29 said:

My insurance is looking to be around £1,400 for the first year. 29 years old currently - I'm not sure if it'll go down next month when i'm 30.

If I bought a cheaper slower car it might go down to £800 but to be honest, i'd rather pay a little more for a Prius if I end up enjoying driving it and little to no road tax is always a benefit!

 

I will have to keep an eye out to make sure it's Gen2 and not Gen3 for a 2009 one to avoid the oil issue.

I didn't know about the Auris, that is pretty great although looks to be slightly smaller overall than a Prius, i'll have to go and take a look at them both in person but thanks for that tip!

 

@Catlover does your 66 plate gen4 still have an easily accessible catalytic converter? If so have you done anything to try and prevent theft?

Hi.

Please feel free to give us a try for insurance if you wish.

Regards,

Dan.

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